Congresswoman: House has votes to pass Reparations bill
Sheila Jackson Lee. AP Photo. J. Scott Applewhite.

For several years Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has picked up the mantle to lead efforts to create a commission to study reparations for African Americans, and now the Democrat from Texas and others believe they finally have the votes for passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This has been a 30-plus year journey,” Congresswoman Jackson Lee declared. “We had to take a different approach. We had to go one by one to members explaining this does not generate a check.”

Congresswoman Jackson Lee said this week that there’s now enough votes in the House for passage of the historic piece of legislation.If the measure passes and ultimately becomes law, it will create a commission that would hold hearings with testimony from those who support and oppose the idea.

“Reparations is about repair and when you repair the damage that has been done, you do so much to move a society forward. This commission can be a healing process. Telling the truth can heal America,” she said.

If the Senate doesn’t join the House in passing the bill, the congresswoman said she and others would push President Biden to sign an executive order to create the commission.

While the bill doesn’t place a monetary value on reparations, it does focus on truth, racial healing, and transformation. The bill would fund a commission to study and develop proposals for providing reparations to African Americans.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee, who sits on numerous House committees, including the Judiciary, Budget, and Homeland Security, has made the reparations legislation her top priority during the 117th Congress.

“I think if people begin to associate this legislation with what happened to the descendants of enslaved Africans as a human rights violation, the sordid past that violated the human rights of all of us who are descendants of enslaved Africans, I think that we can find common ground to pass this legislation,” Congresswoman Jackson Lee pronounced.